Sunday, February 26, 2012


Today I am feeling so lucky and blessed and grateful.

Yesterday Mike took Beverly and Christian ice fishing at his friend's property up East Canyon by Jeremy Ranch. I stayed back to take Drew to his basketball game, and be with Jessi who doesn't like the cold, because, as she reminds us, she is from Africa.

I got the call after it was all over. Mike and the kids had fun fishing with his friend and his little girl. Mike left first, and as he was driving off the property, on a dirt road, he hit a patch of ice beneath the snow. He did a 360 and then the back of the truck slipped off the road, sliding down a cliff. The front wheels grabbed onto the road and stopped slipping. The truck stopped at an angle.

As Mike was on the phone with 911, he looked in the back seat and saw Christian with his arms folded and his eyes closed, mouthing a prayer. Bev then started praying.

The police sent a tow truck. In the meantime, Mike had the kids watch a movie, and sit very still. They waited for about 30 minutes. When the tow truck arrived, the kids got out and sat in the friend's truck while the truck got pulled off the cliff.

At one point, Christian told Mike, "we should not tell Mom about this."

I asked Mike what he was thinking as it was happening. He said that he thought that 'this is it.' I said, "What do you mean, 'this is it.'" He explained that he thought for a moment that they "were gonners." He was especially upset that the kids were with him, that they were in danger.

Bev said that she was "really, really scared." So was Christian. He said that he was thinking, "go to your happy place, go to your happy place."

I am remembering how fast it can all be over and how grateful I am that it is not all over for them. I am hugging them all a little tighter today.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jessi's poster

You can't take the Michael out of the girl.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Freudian Text

Saturday, at Andrew's basketball game, Jessi wanted to send Daddy a text. Then she wanted to send me one. I showed it to Mike, who said, "Oh, did you think she meant to say 'best mom?'" I guess it could go either way.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Valentine's Day made me tired. The kids all need a box decorated and Valentines for their classes. We made chocolate pretzels for their teachers, and I helped in three class parties and planned one.

The night before, we did the boxes and put the valentine's together.

Drew wanted peanut butter M&M's, but we couldn't find them in small bags, so he made his own.

Bev did some cute semi-homemade animal valentines with kettle corn treats.

Jessi did cupcake cards with cupcake erasers.

Christian did sports cards with Reese's.

After the class parties, we got home and I helped Drew with his science fair project. Then I sent them all upstairs while I decorated the table and made dinner. This part is tradition. Mike brings the girls flowers, and this year I got the boys balloons.

I wrap the table in butcher paper so that we can write love notes to each other. I made heart-shaped pancakes with berries and whipped cream, bacon and eggs. Mike brought me home some Cafe Rio and a Diet Pepsi. For dessert, they frosted sugar cookies and decorated the top with cut up fruit.

Every year I make him a mix tape. It always has our songs on it, and then the songs we listen to a lot that year. Some of them are inside jokes and some of them are sincere.

(The kids got after me because I didn't add "I'm Sexy and I Know It." They LOVE that song. I admit it is catchy, but I am trying to be more discriminate on the songs I play. The problem is that they seem to hear it everywhere, including their father's car. The other day, I was doing Jessi's hair and she busts out: "I got passion in my pants and I ain't afraid to show it." That girl can hear a questionable lyric once and have it memorized.)

My latest favorite song: (Remember when the sound of little feet was music, we danced to week to week.)

Sunday night, I went to bed early. Mike apparently stayed up working on a surprise for me. When he came home from work on Monday, he said that he needed my help with something on the computer, but I couldn't see what he was working on. He was working in iPhoto and Photoshop. He never works in iPhoto or Photoshop. I answered a few questions, and I so wanted to rescue him. He spent another two hours on it Monday night. Then, on Valentine's Day, he presented me with this collage with a really nice letter on the bottom. It is probably one of my favorite things he has done for me. I am framing it to go by my bed.

Some of the love notes on the table:

quote of the week

"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

-E.B. White

Friday, February 17, 2012

Charlotte's Web

(My poor kids. Whenever they make a special project for school, I take a picture of them in the front yard before they leave for school. The problem is that our house faces eastish, so the sun is blaring in their eyes. I feel bad, but I gotta get the shot.)

Every month, Bev has to do a book report. For January, they had to make a diorama based on one of the books they had read. She chose to read Charlotte's Web. So, thanks to our big stack of shoeboxes in the basement, a tub of farm animals from the toy room and a spider from the halloween box, she was set for her diorama.

She had been reading the book while she was off track, and I just happened to go to tuck her in bed as she was reading the last few pages. I asked her to read it out loud. Oh, man, how I love that book. I cried as she read about Wilbur missing Charlotte and Charlotte's babies being hatched.

"Wilbur loved Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."

So, as I was crying, Jessi as she always does when I cry, ran to the bathroom for some tissue. She came back and dabbed my tears. She hugged me and said, "Don't cry Mama, it's just pretend." Then we talked about spiders and pigs. Then Bev asked me not to buy pork anymore.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

week 5


Every morning, before the kids head off to school, I try to start the day with prayer. When we are running late, which is often, the prayer happens in the car. I will call out someone's name and ask them to pray.

At dinner, we pray; and before bed (oh, we are trying to do better at the night prayers.)

And, in every prayer, whenever one of the kids prays, they always say something to the effect of, "And please bless that Dad will have a good day at work, and that we will have a good day at school, and that Mom will have a good day at home with the cats."

It makes me laugh because, for being a stay-home mom, I am actually gone most of the day. And, when I am home, contrary to popular belief, I am not sitting around playing laser light with Tiger and Mama.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

let's call it "positive reinforcement"

Over the last few months, child number three has been having some resistance to Chinese homework. Although he enjoys being in the Chinese immersion program, it is hard for him, and he does not like the extra homework. We knew that there would be extra homework, and I think they need it, but it gets to be a lot for him.

So, I have been using his currency, which up to this point has been earning extra points on his chore chart and Pokemon cards, to help with motivation. The currency is now Skylanders. He has to do his homework with a good attitude and he can earn these guys.

One problem we face is that these little demons are hard to find. Mike and I looked online and then called places, and finally found some downtown. Mike then drove down before work and picked them up.

I am all about using external reinforcers on this right now, hoping that the internal will follow, and that he will get over this hurdle. I don't want to go all Tiger Mother on him, but, I want to make sure we keep the expectations high. So, we are going to just take it one day at a time, give lots of encouragement and play us some Skylanders.

Friday, February 3, 2012

my lucky find

Saturday, I went with some of my besties to check out a new-to-us antique store. Every few months, we like to go check out consignment stores, and whatever DI is in the vicinity. We walked in to DI, and I saw these lockers at the back of the "yard." I b-lined it back there and two people were looking them over. I saw that they looked to be in good condition and that they were only $35. I immediately told the employee that I would like to buy them. He was standing there because he had just put it out to sell. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

By the time my friends got back to where I was, I had the receipt and was going up to pay. I got approached by a man who wanted to buy them from me, and two other people telling me how lucky I was. Lucky, indeed. I called Mike, who just happened to be a few minutes away in his truck. He may roll his eyes at me for my projects, but he is always willing to help.

They need a thorough power-washing, and maybe a new paint job, so they are sitting in the garage waiting for some warm weather.

Item #10 that just got added to my "to be painted" list.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

new memory-keeping venture

For the last two years, I have attempted to take at least one picture every day. I had big plans to organize them and make a book. Well, it didn't happen. I am giving it another go. I have taken the pictures, but am already behind on making the pages. But, I am going to make it happen.

I got my iPhone back in August, and around that same time, my little point-and-shoot that I kept in my purse died. I thought for sure I would need to replace it, but then I discovered some cool photography apps for the phone. They are not great quality, and I am still taking pics with my nice camera, but I am a fan of iPhone photography--especially Instagram.

I am also trying to give a little description of the picture, or of our lives that day.

I am excited about it, and I have a plan for executing it in a manageable way. I hope it goes as planned.